With online video becoming a "must-have" for consumers, the market for hybrid set-top boxes that bring Internet content to televisions is starting to boom. A new report says it has the potential of reaching a value of more than $1.3 billion by 2014 worldwide.
Research firm In-Stat said hybrid Web-to-TV STBs will integrate Internet capability into cable, satellite, IPTV and digital terrestrial set top boxes.
"TV programs have come to the Internet. Now, the Internet is coming back to TV, and savvy software engineers and smart TV producers are finding ways to create new 'hybrid' services that bring it all together," says Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst for In-Stat. "The set top box industry is scrambling to create designs that facilitate all these new features."
In-Stat said that while hybrid-capable STBs are shipping today, only a small percentage are using the capabilities. That will change by 2014, it said, as more are immediately put to it use, leading to a CAGR of 42 percent between 2010 and 2014.
Western Europe will lead the way for development of hybrid services and early hybrid STB shipments, In-Stat forecast.
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